The Okinaka Memorial Institute for Medical Research was established as an Incorporated Foundation in May 1973 on the grounds of Toranomon Hospital to commemorate the award of the Order of Cultural Merit to the second President of Toranomon Hospital, Dr. Shigeo Okinaka. The Okinaka Memorial Institute realized Dr. Okinaka’s long-held dream that “basic research facilities are necessary to improve the level of medical care in hospitals.”
Since its opening, it has received moral and nancial support from many related organizations and individuals, allowing it to perform surveys and research on adult diseases in close cooperation with Toranomon Hospital. In April 2011, it was certi ed as a Public Interest Incorporated Foundation.
The Institute will continue to engage in research on adult diseases and will work to contribute to the improvement of standards of medical care and the development of medical science.
In recent years, the types of diseases posing health problems in Japan have changed dramatically. Improvement in public hygiene/life quality and the development of antibiotics have markedly reduced bacterial infectious diseases and nutrition disorders, but on the other hand, so-called “adult diseases” are increasing by the year. These include hypertension, atherosclerosis and consequent cerebral/myocardial infarction, malignant tumors, endocrine and metabolic disorders such as diabetes, diseases of the digestive organs, liver, kidneys, nerves, and respiratory organs, autoimmune diseases, and viral infections. As the true nature of many of these diseases is deeply related to basic biological phenomena, they cannot be solved by simple public hygiene measures or improvement of environmental factors alone. Rather, it is essential to elucidate the pathophysiology of these diseases through wide-ranging clinical and basic research. Research into these adult diseases, which are sometimes called “lifestyle diseases,” is only possible at hospitals, which are clinical sites, or at research facilities that have a close integral relationship with a hospital. However, given the current realities in Japan, it is extremely dif cult for hospitals to acquire the facilities and systems necessary for medical research. To address this need, the Okinaka Memorial Institute for Medical Research was established with donations from various parts of society that understand these issues. The research institute maintains a close relationship with Toranomon Hospital, which is one of Japan’s leading clinical hospitals, and pursues its ideal of discovering, investigating, and elucidating academic questions in the rich eld of clinical medicine, and returning the results of its research to the clinical eld.
The Institute conducts research regarding nervous system diseases, endocrine diseases, metabolic disorders, atheroscle- rosis, hypertension, renal diseases, malignant tumors, collagen diseases, pollution-related diseases, and iatrogenic diseases. Its work includes research and development of the equipment necessary for the diagnosis and treatment of diseases and computerization of medical information. It also offers grants to researchers who are investigating adult diseases. These activities are undertaken in order to promote scholarship and to contribute to raising the level of medical treatment in Japan.